Why I Love My DivaCup and Should Probably Be a Menstrual Cup Lobbyist

Update: my knee is doing a ton better! I can even squat now, although I do feel some strain and discomfort when I do so, so I still bend over more than I squat. The coins were right, I’m okay.

But that’s not what I want to talk about today. I’ve been meaning to make a video or a post about this for a while now. I’ve wanted to share my experience with the Diva Cup menstrual cup – so for those of you who are too squeamish to read about BLOOD and VAGINAS, especially BLOODY VAGINAS, perhaps this is the time to stop reading. However, I encourage you to KEEP READING because this shit has changed my life, I swear to god.

So last summer I saw a DivaCup menstrual cup at Whole Foods for ~$45 and I was like psssshhh, that’s fucking expensive. So I did a price comparison check on Amazon and lo and behold, they were only $24.94 (now $27.99 Prime). I immediately bought one after researching the difference between a menstrual cup and the Softcup brand (I don’t recommend these because they’re wasteful and non-reusable) and then watched a ton of YouTube videos about how they work in anticipation of my Amazon snail mail gift.

Before I delve into the many awesome and amazing reasons why I highly recommend menstrual cups, let me just add a few little fun facts in for you.

First and foremost, menstrual cups, like tampons, definitely have a learning curve.
There’s the whole “how the hell do I get this inside of me?” thing, which I found is actually not that hard. There’s several ways of folding a menstrual cup. You can check out this nifty video and see for yourself. I personally prefer the “punch in” fold as it creates a small pointy part that allows for easier insertion, as well as easy unfolding once it’s in.

The learning curve part comes not so much in that act of inserting the cup, but rather making sure it’s inserted properly. In the first couple months of using my DivaCup, I was not unfolding it properly and therefore was experiencing not only leaks, but also EXTREME CRAMPS that were caused by a weird malfunctioning suction/uncomfortable shape inside the vagina problem. There are a couple tricks to making sure you get it to open properly.

1. A great way to fully open the cup if you’re using the punch-in method of insertion, is by squeezing it until you feel it completely pop open and all of the rim is touching the walls of your vagina.
2. Each cup comes with 4 tiny air holes near the rim that allow the cup to create suction and stay in place. These holes need to be unobstructed by all debris, including water, otherwise, you won’t get proper suction and your cup may remain improperly open, which leads to leaks.
3. If your cup still feels like it’s in a dogbone shape or otherwise, you need to twist it around in circles or possibly tap along its rim to full open it. It needs to feel rotund and inflated like it would be outside of you in order for it to be properly in place.
4. Often times another sign of it being properly open is a little “pop!” noise as it fully inflates.

Once you’ve got this part down, you’re set for anywhere between 4 and 12 hours. I’ve even left mine in for 16-18 hours before because I knew my period was light. Because of the vacuum seal it creates once it’s properly inserted, you’re pretty much guaranteed leak-proof protection and it’s amazing. You can do anything. Cartwheels? Swimming? Aerobics? Biking? You’re set. Your cup ain’t going nowhere and neither is the blood that’s pooling in it.

SO, let’s talk about all the other incredible benefits of using a menstrual cup.

1. It will save you a fuckton of money. 
I literally haven’t bought tampons or pads (panty liners are the exception, I’ve always got Kotex ultra thin liners on hand) since last spring. And I have several boxes that are full and some almost full of unused tampons in every size that I haven’t touched since I started using my DivaCup. DO YA’LL KNOW HOW MUCH MONEY I’VE SAVED? My periods aren’t all cute and short like so many other girls that I know. They last anywhere from a week to two weeks – which equals a lot of tampons and panty liners. I’m too lazy to do the math, but I know from rough estimates it’s at least $100. That’s $100 that I can put towards my car loan. BINGO.

2. It’s good for your body.
I haven’t tried other brands of menstrual cups, so I’m going to boast about DivaCup specifically – but it’s made from medical grade silicone, which means it’s biocompatible (safe to insert in your body) much like silicone sex toys! Here’s a little more in depth info straight from their website.

Because of our ISO certification and compliance to FDA, Health Canada, and Australian TGA health regulations, we can guarantee that each DivaCup is made with the same silicone material and grade approved for healthcare applications for over fifty years and that it does not contain any of the following: latex, plastic, PVC, acrylic, acrylate, BPA, phthalate, elastomer and polyethylene and is free of colors and dyes. Silicone products have been shown to be biocompatible (i.e. accepted by the human body without adverse reaction), durable, flexible, and easy to sterilize. What’s more, our award-winning DivaCup is the only menstrual cup allowed to be sold in Canada by Health Canada.

Unlike pads and tampons, it leaves no residue inside or outside your body.
Did you know tampons absorb 65% menstrual fluid and 35% natural moisture? They create an imbalance in your pH levels which interfere with the health of your vaginal environment.
Pads? You’re basically sitting in your own blood and endometrial mucus for ‘x’ amount of time, which not only creates odor from the blood being exposed to oxygen, but also a rampant breeding ground for bacteria to grow and create problems. Also? Gross. I used to use pads when I was younger and gross gross gross.

3. It will eliminate odor.
As mentioned above, pads, and even tampons, create odor. This is because they allow blood and bacteria to oxidize, aka react with the air, which in turn create unpleasant odors.
Menstrual cups, on the other hand, block off any possibility for the blood to interact with oxygen. They create a vacuum tight seal in your vagina that allows the blood to pool directly into the cup and never be exposed to air until you empty it, by which time, it will only smell like blood, if anything.

4. It won’t give you TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome). 
Because DivaCup is made from medical grade silicone, you cannot get Toxic Shock Syndrome. Quote Buzzfeed:

TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome) is a bacteria-spurred illness that can kill you. If your tampon has even a slightly higher absorbency than your actual flow, you risk shredding. Tiny bits of cotton can cause small cuts in your vaginal walls—a perfect breeding ground for the bacteria causing TSS.

 5. It’s good for the environment.
Menstrual cups contain no bleaches, deodorisers, or absorbency gels! [x]
The silicone they’re made from is derived from silica, which is one of earth’s most abundant minerals.
They’re also made from non-allergic silicone, which means that they’re suitable even if you have thrush, eczema, sensitive skin, and so on.
And obviously, because you’re not throwing away man-produced paper/cotton waste every few hours, they reduce the amount of non-environmentally friendly waste you produce each month. GIVE YOURSELF A HIGH FIVE!

6. It can last up to 10 years.
That’s right. TEN YEARS. The DivaCup website suggests you replace it once a year, but ultimately says that with proper care and cleaning, it’s up to the consumer to decide when to replace theirs, and many websites boast up to a decade lifetime for these wonderful beasts.
$$$$$ IMAGINE THE SAVINGS $$$$$

 7. It helps you get to know your body better.
Now hear me out.
Yes, periods and blood and vaginal secretions are/can be gross. But it’s 100% good for you to know your body and what it’s capable of.
Each DivaCup comes with measurement lines that let you know how much you’ve bled – and it holds 1 full ounce. Typically, a woman bleeds 1 to 2 ounces PER CYCLE, so if you’re the average woman, it may surprise you just how little you may have in your cup when you empty it. Of course, the opposite could also be true. If you have heavier periods, you may need to empty it more often, and may be surprised at the amount you bleed.

8. It holds more than Ultra sized tampons!
Ultra sized tampons, for your heaviest of heavy flows – I’m talking heavier than Super sized tampons – hold 15 to 18 grams of blood. There are 28 grams in 1 oz, which means the DivaCup holds 10 extra grams of blood that would leak out of your Ultra sized tampon. CAN I GET A HIGH 5!?

Lastly, some other interesting tips/tricks/facts/helpful hints:

At the end of each cycle, your cup needs to be boiled for 10 minutes.
This sterilizes it and ensures it’s rid of any remaining bacteria and ready for use next month.

When you boil it, stick it inside of a whisk.
This will help it stay put and keep it from touching the walls of your boiling pot. Silicone can burn, so any damage or deterioration of your cup means you need to get a new one. Securing it in a whisk will ensure its safety in the cleaning process.

You may need to trim the stem.
In its original form, the DivaCup comes with a little ‘stem’ that helps you get it out. I, like others, found it irritating because it stuck out during use, so I trimmed all of it off. Plus, you really don’t need the stem to remove it. All it needs is a little pinch and pull and you’re good.

If you’d like to read more in-depth, clinical information on the DivaCup or menstrual cups in general, or you just want more information, including other bits I didn’t talk about (like how it works with an IUD or different brands and sizes) check out these great links or use your little fingers and get to Googling.

DivaCup Official Website
Why a Menstrual Cup is WAY Better than Tampons
18 Reasons You Should Switch to the Menstrual Cup

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DTRO & Stinky Cheese

It’s the end of another day of break (time is a’flyin’) and I can happily say I have accomplished my first mission for these 2 weeks off: cleaning my room. I organized my bookshelves and desk (a little bit) as well as dusted nearly everything. The top of my big bookcase was pretty disgusting in terms of dust, actually. I used one Swiffer cloth for that part entirely. Both sides. 

I also went to DTRO with my mom to see where the Royal Oak Music Theatre is actually located and find one of the public parking structures for the fashion show next week. We successfully found both, and then walked around the shops down there.

I wasn’t expecting to find anything I’d want to buy, but we went into this vintage store called Lost and Found Vintage, and like any time that I go vintage/thrift shopping, I end up making fun of the clothing and asking myself and whoever I’m with “WHO BUYS AND ACTUALLY WEARS THIS SHIT????” Turns out, I do.

I found this AWESOME floor-length gauzey dress circa 1970s and it fits me perfectly. It’s got elastic cinching sleeves, a perfect scoop neckline, a zipper that I never need touch because of it’s elastic smocked waistband, and a cute poppy flower design all over that mildly dates it if you’re picky, but it totally fits into today’s floral trend. It’s very breezy and comfortable and I will have to take a picture soon. I also plan on going in that shop sometime again. They had some pretty awesome stuff.

We stopped in Paris beforehand because I always stop at Paris when I’m in DTRO, and I forgot to mention this yesterday, but I’m addicted to Instragram. These sound unrelated, but I found this fancy heavily beaded top while I was there and I thought “THIS WILL MAKE AN EXCELLENT INSTRAGRAM PHOTO” as I do nearly every time I eat. This fancy new phone with all this space on it is really turning me into a social media monster. If you have Instagram too, follow me! Username lovelikeangels.

We also went to Whole Foods to see if they had any dried lavender (they did not, sadface) and I ended up buying this DIVINELY DELICIOUS sheep’s milk cheese. When I smelled it in store I thought “yes, this is the perfect amount of stinky” and I knew it would taste amazing. And it does. I wish I could go on a year-long cheese vacation where I get to go to like, cheese caves and eat cheese all day. I’d probably die within a year, or have life-threatening triglycerides, but that’s beside the point.

Sniffin’ Eucalyptus In The Corner.

Fridays seem to go by so quickly in this apparel production class I’ve got. I could barely believe it when it was lunch time. Alyza and I tried out Zoup! today and we both really liked it. Plus, this guy I see all the time in the library works there and recognized me when he served me, so that was kinda cool. Afterwards, we popped over to Whole Foods to get Alyza some eucalyptus oil for her sinuses and when we got back to class, I snapped this fantastic picture of her sniffing it like a crack addict.

I also participated in a photoshoot today where I know I didn’t model to my full potential and I’ve kind of been mildly kicking myself for it all today. I was the first person to be photographed, so while it was in progress I thought it was just test shots and not the actual shoot so I wasn’t giving it my all. And then it was like “Okay, you’re good!” and I was like wai…huh? But I glimpsed a few of my pics and they were pretty good. I was very happy to see my hair turned out really red. I felt like a true redhead, it was fabulous.

When I came home, my mom and I went out shopping and I ended up buying NYX lipstick at ULTA in these 3 fantasically bright coral colors. There’s one in particular that makes me super happy because it’s really bright and attention-grabbing. And given the fact that normally I do not wear lip color, it’s doubly awesome. NO, tripley awesome because I usually think of myself like a pig in a wig when I wear prominent lipstick – but this one I really love in particular. I’ll have to take some pictures wearing it. (And I was thinking of making a Youtube video too…haven’t made one of those in a while.) I also bought this coraly red nail polish that matches the tone of the lipsticks. And I picked up some dry shampoo because 1. I’ve been wanting to get some for a long time and 2. I don’t feel like washing my hair until Sunday, so I’m not going to.

Lastly, I just watched the episode of Glee I missed on Tuesday (I’m in the process of watching New Girl, it’s loading; I love when Schmidt calls Cece “Cecilia.”) and holy moley! THE HELL WAS THAT!? What a total bloody (pun intended) cliffhanger at the end there! And now to play the waiting game until April. Woooo wee.

Don’t Have Kids If You’re Gonna Be A Dickshit Parent.

I went shopping twice today. The second time around, I went with my mom and we stopped by Meijer [the second time for me today]. While there, after we emerged from the Christmas section, we noticed there was a little kid standing against the wall looking scared. We both asked him if he was okay and where his mom or parents were repeatedly. I even got down to his level because I know that getting down to the same level as a little kid makes you seem less intimidating, and I asked him again if he was okay, and I told him I wouldn’t hurt him and I outstretched my hand to try to get him to come over to me. But all he did was cower even more and look as if he was about to burst into tears.

So then my mom went and got a worker to help us out, and just as the guy was rounding the corner, the kid’s dad came angrily pounding down the aisle, grabbed the kid forcefully, and literally DRAGGED him, kicking and screaming, to god knows where in the store and said “That’s the last time you run away from me.” and me and my mom were both like O_O and we both said at the same time “abusive“. Everything about that whole situation just screamed “bad home life“. I couldn’t stop thinking of the kid for a long time. It’s stuff like that that makes you thankful that you have normal parents and a pretty damn good life.

I almost burst in tears too watching this kid cower away from me while I was trying to reach out to him. Imagine what kind of horrors he must face at home. This is one of the reasons I personally believe some people just shouldn’t have kids. Like some people just need to be raped of their sperm and eggs and never be allowed to have children because they don’t know how to parent. They’re not fit to be parents. They will never be fit to be parents. I don’t care if they go through parenting classes or some shit, they shouldn’t be allowed.

Anyway, sad story aside: I finally found almond flour so I can make macaroons! Pumpkin Spice Macaroons to be exact. I bought some pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice and I think I’m going to make them tomorrow. I hope they turn out okay.

I also finally found some boots that fit my calf and are very comfortable, from Meijer! They were on sale for $39, so I’m pretty happy. And I bought some of those skank headbands by Goody. They’ve got some like jelly plastic on one side that’s supposed to make them “slide proof” but they still slide off my head. Just not as quickly.

This is what Goody Skanky Headbands look like.

I also stopped by Target earlier today and bought some Christmas ornaments and new tinsel for our tree. And tonight I got some deliciously stinky cheese from Whole Foods and White Chocolate Vanilla coffee from Big Lots. Speaking of coffee, I indulged in some Starbucks at Target today. I got their Pumpkin Spice Latte. It was quite delicious and worth the nearly $5 I spent on it. That was probably my…5th time I’ve ever gotten Starbucks hahaha. I have a somewhat interesting story with Starbucks. The first time I had Starbucks was in Amsterdam and it wasn’t even coffee – it was a delicious sandwich. I think the same was true for the second time, in Chicago. I got a sandwich and a yogurt parfait. It wasn’t until my 3rd time, also in Chicago, in the morning, that I finally got a caramel frappucino.